Steve Evans returned to management against the team he took into the Football League, and to an unforgettable FA Cup tie at Old Trafford, and recorded a comfortable win.
For the Reds, it was their third consecutive 3-1 defeat, and this sees them slip to 16th, just three points clear of the bottom two.
The hosts dominated throughout, but had to wait until the second half when Chris Clements opened the scoring after a poor headed clearance fell straight to him, and he volleyed home on fifty minutes. Pat Hoban volleyed in four minutes later, before Matt Green took the ball past Crawley keeper Glenn Morris, who was caught way off his line; he found Clements who smashed the ball into the empty net for his second and Mansfield’s third in ten minutes. Reds were gifted a consolation goal when Rhys Bennett headed Bobson Bawling’s cross into his own net.
It was a very disappointing result for the Reds, who have now not won since beating Blackpool 1-0 on 1st October, and earlier in the week they were knocked out of the FA Cup at Bristol Rovers, despite a valiant away performance. Up next is a trip to Yeovil on Tuesday, who sit just outside the play off places.
Whyteleafe 0-2 Three Bridges
Three Bridges are off the bottom of the Ryman League South table after picking up their first away win of the season at Whyteleafe. It was a performance that defied their current league position, and they will be hoping to push on from here.
Jamie Crellin opened the scoring for the visitors on the fifty-ninth minute, smashing the ball past keeper Brannon Daly from point blank range, after an excellent cross from the right. Twelve minutes later, Tony Garrod latched on to Kieran Djiliali’s through ball and curled his shot into the far corner to seal the three points.
It’s the perfect time for Bridges to find form, as they have a tough trip to league leaders Dorking Wanderers on Saturday.
Peacehaven & Telscombe 5-2 Crawley Down Gatwick
It was a tough afternoon in tricky conditions for The Anvils as Peacehaven & Telscombe hit five past them to move out of the bottom three of the Southern Combinations League. As the wind and rain settled in at the Unibet Arena, the hosts controlled the game against a well organised Anvils side, and their quick play found them 3-0 up after fifteen minutes, through goals from Curt Ford, Ellis Cowd and Josh Marshall. Crawley Down fought back and started to show the threat which saw them win 9-0 last time out in the league, but were unable to score before the break.
On sixty-six minutes, the visitors had a lifeline when Sam Cane headed in to make it 3-1, but they struggled to build the momentum against a resolute Haven defence. With eleven minutes to go, Haven broke free and Josh Marshall swept home for his second of the afternoon. Oliver Leslie scored a penalty shortly after to set up a nervy last five minutes, but it was nothing but a consolation goal, and Haven scored again two minutes later to end the contest.
Up next for the Anvils, who are 11th in the Southern Combinations League, is the visit of Eastbourne United on Tuesday.
Corinthian Casuals 2-1 Horsham
After winning three on the spin in the league, the Hornets finally succumbed to a defeat last Tuesday, accompanied by another on Saturday. On Tuesday night, Horsham conceded seven goals against Dorking Wanderers, scoring a consolation goal in the eighty-fifth minute. The opposition currently sit at the top of the table.
On Saturday, the Hornets were unlucky to concede a goal in the eighty-third minute, substitute Jamie Byatt scoring the winner for Corinthian. Liam MacDevitt played his final game for Horsham, joining Greenwich Borough in the same league.
Corinthian Casuals opened the scoring, Josh Ozun finding the net approaching half time. An equaliser from Tom Lawley in the second half almost grabbed Horsham a point, but Jamie Byatt collected three points for Corinthian Casuals.
On Wednesday night, Horsham visit Cray Wanderers in the Ryman South and host Hastings United on Saturday afternoon.
Lewes 2-2 Molesey
Lewes were looking for their 6th consecutive league win as they played Molesey in terrible conditions. They got off to a good start as Jamie Brotherton converted a tenth minute penalty. The home side dominated the first half, and were rewarded with their second in the thirty-eighth minute, with Jonte Smith finding the back of the net. Lewes were on course to continue their fine run of form, but the visitors had other ideas, and pulled a goal back through Ashley Lodge in the sixty-eighth minute. Tom Windsor then drew Molesey level with a seventy-forth minute strike, and Lewes had to settle for a point.
Guernsey 2-1 East Grinstead
The Wasps went down 2-1 to inform Guernsey, as the home side dominated the game from the off. They could, and perhaps should have been ahead, well before Kyle Smith gave them the lead on twelve minutes. Guernsey pressed high from the start of the game, and it was their high pressing that turned possession over for Kyle Smith’s opener. They should have added to their lead, but had to wait until just before half time to double their lead. Thomas Dodds grabbed their second with a forty-fifth minute strike. The lead lasted less than a minute as East Grinstead got one back, with Marcus Elliot finding the net. Guernsey missed the chance to extend their lead in the second half, as they couldn’t convert from the penalty spot. East Grinstead gave the home side some worrying moments with some dangerous crosses, but they failed to create any clear cut chances.
Wick FC 1-5 Haywards Heath Town FC
Haywards Heath Town completed their second five-goal win of the week with a convincing victory over Wick FC.
Heath came out of the blocks early when Alex Laing grabbed the first goal of the afternoon with a low drive into the bottom corner. Despite losing some momentum, Heath picked up the pace in the forty-first minute when striker Trevor McCreadie doubled their lead. Alex Laing grabbed his second of the afternoon just before half-time. Despite Wick FC finding a consolation from the spot, it was McCreadie who was on target again in the seventy-sixth minute to put the game out of sight for Heath. Jamie Weston got in on the act four minutes from the end to round off a splendid afternoon for The Blues.
Manager, Shaun Saunders comments:
"I'm delighted with today's win, we were again clinical in front of goal which I knew we had to be after the tough FA Vase game several weeks ago. We were dominant in the 1st half and deserved the lead but sat back slightly in the second half more than I wanted but dealt with the Wick pressure well. Results have gone in our favour today proving what a valuable 3 points today's are."
This result sees Haywards Heath climb to 3rd in the league table, just two points off second place Pagham, but a distant seven points from 1st placed Shoreham.
Lowestoft Town FC 1-0 Burgess Hill Town FC
Burgess Hill Town made it three defeats in a row in the Ryman Premier League with a 1-0 away defeat to Lowestoft Town.
The hosts took the lead after fifteen minutes thanks to a towering header from Rory Mcauley from a set-piece. The game remained a cagey affair throughout and Burgess Hill had multiple opportunities to get back into the game. Substitute Dan Thompson nearly found an equaliser in the eighty-ninth minute but saw his effort blocked by man of the match Mcauley. Moments later Lowestoft had the chance to double their lead when Adam Smith set up Jake Reed, who saw the ball bounce away off his foot. Despite this, Lowestoft held on for all three points.
This result moves Lowestoft up to 7th place in the league and leaves the Hillian’s without a league win since the end of October.
Worthing United FC 2-2 Broadbridge Heath FC
Two goals in two minutes, in the final throes of the game ensure a point-a-piece for Worthing and Broadbridge.
Despite the wet conditions, Worthing got off to a great start, taking the lead after only five minutes through Frank Foster. A fairly open and even first half saw Broadbridge equalise on thirty-five. The second half was a continuation of the first, with a few chances for both sides. With the game looking likely to be a draw, the Bears found break-through in the eighty-eighth minute. However, an eighty-ninth minute equaliser for Worthing United denied the Bears of three points, securing a point sixty-seconds later.
Shoreham FC 6-0 AFC Uckfield FC
After ending their winless ten-game run last weekend with a convincing three-goal victory to Worthing, the Oakmen suffer a six goal beating from the Musselmen.
Shoreham opened the score line early when Tom Burton headed home Jamie Cradock’s delivery after only two minutes. The duet found the back of the net again on thirty-three, when a corner cross from Cradock was received by a towering Tom Burton who headed home once more. Four minutes before the break Richard Greenfield made it three with a simple tap in from close range.
Following the interval it went from bad to worse for A.F.C as Burton became a hat-trick hero on fifty-one through a superb acrobatic volley, increasing Shoreham’s lead to four. Then an own-goal and a converted penalty in the final fifteen minutes buried the Oakmen by six.
Graham Sullivan comments: “It’s always tough facing Shoreham. They are a strong physical team with a huge budget and have players with National League experience. What is disappointing is the nature by which we conceded some of our goals – free headers are unforgivable at any level of football. We had some good periods in the game, but such is the ethos within the side, we go again next week with positivity”.
Oakwood FC 1-1 Saltdean
Oakwood entertained top of the league Saltdean F.C. and managed to hold them to a very creditable 1-1 draw. Oakwood currently sit 11th in the league table.